The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has put in place different mechanisms to lessen the influence of gender stereotypes on gender-based violence. The goal is to teach young people to stand up for themselves in the area of sexuality and relationships and to set their own limits and respect those of other people. These actions include using social media to raise awareness about violence and producing learning packages for sex education and media literacy classes in secondary schools.
There is no specific law criminalising domestic violence
. However, it is criminalised in the Criminal Code under different articles not specific to domestic violence.
The legal provisions that address domestic violence do not specify violence against women.
The gender neutral clauses in the national framework for domestic violence was criticized in the last CEDAW report.
In 2009 the Temporary Domestic Exclusion Order Act was passed, under which an offender can be initially excluded from the home for ten days through a domestic exclusion order. This initial period can be extended to 28 days if the risk of violence persists. The offender, the victim and any children involved in the incident are offered social assistance during the time of the domestic exclusion order.
An interdepartmental project was put in place under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice, between 2002 and 2007, as part of the Netherland’s Public Safety Programme. The policy document called Privé Geweld – Publieke Zaak
(‘Private Violence – Public Issue’) contains fifty concrete measures designed to overcome it.
In January 2003, the Board of Police Commissioners put forward a national action plan on domestic violence, called ‘Huiselijk geweld en de politietaak’, with the objective of aiding police departments to develop effective domestic violence mechanisms and to facilitate the national registration of domestic violence cases.
There are 96 women’s shelters in the Netherlands with the capacity of lodging 1,608 people. Female victims and their children can stay on average three to six months at the shelters, although if needed the period can be extended. Also, the Information and Help on Domestic Violence is the national hotline for domestic violence
In terms of legal advice for victims, Victims Support Netherlands (VSN) is a national organization with 75 offices throughout the country that provides support and legal advice, such as providing information about court proceedings and assisting the victim in court and with the procedures regarding protection orders.
The last CEDAW report stated that while perpetrators of domestic violence have access to free legal aid, victims of domestic violence can avail themselves of it only in exceptional circumstances.
In 2002 an inter-ministerial working group in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba for the collection of data on domestic violence and on the planned adoption of temporary restraining legislation. However, the 2010 CEDAW report pointed out that police officers in Aruba have not yet received training in dealing with domestic violence.
In January 2010, the delegation of Netherlands Antilles argued that further measures are being taken, such as mandatory special therapy for perpetrators and after-care services for victims.
The Netherlands collects information about domestic violence on a regular basis: more than 40% of the Dutch population
have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives and 80% of the time the perpetrator is male. The most recent data, collected by the police through a special registration procedure for domestic violence, indicates that over 56,000 domestic crime reports are entered into the police database each year. The Ministry of Health claims that only 12% of all domestic violence cases are reported to the police, which would mean that every year there are around 500,000 domestic violence incidents. Moreover, only 36% of the cases reported to the police result in an official complaint by the victim. In 58 % of the domestic violence cases where victims file an official complaint with the police, the perpetrator was actually detained.
The Penal Code criminalizes rape
, which is defined as compelling a person into allowing an act comprising or including sexual penetration of the body, by an act of violence, threat of violence or threat. This felony is punishable by imprisonment of up to twelve years or a fine.
Moreover, if the victim is unconscious, physically or mentally handicap, or unable to give consent or indicate resistance, the punishment is imprisonment of up to eight years or a fine.
The offence is aggravated if serious bodily harm occurs as a result of the assault, in which case the imprisonment can go up to fifteen years.
The definition of rape specifically includes marital/spousal rape but only 3% of reported cases end in arrests.
No indication of the perpetrator being able to escape prosecution by marrying the victim.
Initially addressed by the Working Conditions Act
(1998), sexual harassment
, or seksuele intimidatie,
is defined by the Civil Code and by the Equal Treatment Act
as any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature of which the purpose or effect is the violation of a person’s dignity, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Employers are liable for the well-being and care of their employees and are banned from backlashing against employees who report sexual harassment. 
The protection from sexual harassment extends beyond the workplace and work hours, as established by jurisprudence.
Similarly, the Civil Code establishes that employers must evaluate the risk of sexual harassment and successively formulate a prevention programme.
Hence, most of the bigger organisations in the Netherlands have internal policies regarding sexual harassment. 
When harassment takes place, the employer and the employee must agree on a ‘‘trust person’’ to provide support and advice to the victim.
The Netherlands created the first centre for sexual harassment complaints in 1985, the Stichting Handen Thuis (Hands Off Foundation), which received over 140 formal complaints during its first year.
In addition, the Netherlands has been realising studies about sexual harassment since the 1990s.
One example is The Dutch Working Conditions Survey, conducted since 2000, which takes into account sexual harassment.
One source stated that the Netherlands continues to conduct this sort of research on a regular basis.
The organisation charged with the collection of this data at least twice a year was TNO Arbeid.
Since 2005 a national survey (nationale enquete arbeidsomstandigheden
) is published every year by TNO and CBS.
Conversely, the lack of data on sexual harassment was one of the criticisms stated in the last CEDAW report.
Two entities charged with the implementation of the law are the Labour Inspection/Inspectorate and The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, formerly the Equal Treatment Commission.
Several different private organizations provide support and legal advice for sexual harassment victims. For instance, the Bezemer and Kuyper training and advice Centre, specialized in detrimental behaviour at the workplace.
Another example is Movisie, the Netherlands Centre for social development, offering support and counselling to professional organizations, volunteer organizations and government institutions in the field of welfare, care and social development.
Female genital mutilation
is illegal in the Netherlands under child abuse laws.
Since July 1st
2013 legislation is in effect that provides for more possibilities to tackle female genital mutilation by criminal law. The maximum punishment in article 284 of the Penal Code (to make a person endure something, inter alia FGM, by violence or threat) is raised from 9 months to two years imprisonment and a maximum fee of € 20 250. In several Penal Code Articles, on crimes against personal freedom, on abuse and on physical harm, FGM is included.
In 2012, around 40 % of immigrant women (from countries where FGM is traditionally practiced) had undergone FGM. That is almost 1% of the Dutch female population. The majority of these women fall within the reproductive ages. This requires from doctors and other health care workers skills to discuss this topic, proper knowledge of the relation between medical and psychosocial complaints and FGM, as well as knowledge of existing medical treatments or therapies.
is legal in the Netherlands, via the Termination of Pregnancy Act, after 16 days and up to the 24th
week. Although the official deadline is the 24th
week, in practice doctors stick to a time limit of 22 weeks. Also, Doctors are obliged to report late-term abortions and the termination of life of neonates to a central committee. Abortions are free of charge for Dutch nationals under the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act. Abortions may be performed only in a licensed clinic or hospital. Women are required to see a doctor before proceeding, but this may be their own general practitioner.
 Government of the Netherlands’Website http://www.government.nl/issues/gender-equality/safety-of-girls-and-women (accessed 26/03/2014)  Articles 67 (Court appointment), 138 (Crimes against public order), 242-243 and 246 (Crimes against morality), 255 and 257 (Abandonment/neglect of dependents), 282 and 285-285b (Crimes against personal freedom/liberty), 300-304 (Maltreatment), 350 0 (Destruction or damage).  Women Against Violence Europe.(2012), p.191  CEDAW (2010), p. 6  Government of the Netherlands Website  Ministry of Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport ‘s website http://www.huiselijkgeweld.nl/english/factsheet (accessed 27/03/2014)  Women Against Violence Europe.(2012), p.193 The Library of Congress USA, http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402571_text (27/03/2014)  CEDAW (2010) p. 6 CEDAW (2010) p. 6  Minister of Public Health and Social Development/Minister of Education, Head of the Delegation of the Netherlands Antilles (2010) p.5  According to the World Banks’ World Development Indicators Database, the total population of the Netherlands is 16,767,705.0.  Ministry of Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport ‘s website http://www.huiselijkgeweld.nl/english/factsheet (accessed 27/03/2014)  Penal Code, Article 242  Penal Code, Article 243  Penal Code, Article 248 US State Department. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/eur/186388.htm (accessed 26/03/2014)  Article 1.3.e  Act of 2 March 1994  Civil Code Book 7, Section 126.96.36.199; Equal Treatment Act (1994), Section 1a  Book 7, Section 188.8.131.52  European Union (2004), p.57  Book 7, Article 7:658  European Union (2004), p.37  The Irish Presidency of the European Union (2004) Report on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in EU Member States. p.14 Eurofond (n.d.) http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/emire/NETHERLANDS/SEXUALHARASSMENT-NL.htm (accessed 26/03/2014)  European Commission (1998), p. 98  European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2007), p.13  The Irish Presidency of the European Union (2004), p.15  The Irish Presidency of the European Union (2004), p.92  Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek and TNO (2012)  CEDAW/C/NLD/CO/5 (2010) p. 9  European Union (2004), p.65 ; The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (2012)  Bezemer & Kuiper  Movisie. http://www.movisie.com/ (accessed 30/04/2014)  Penal Code Articles 300-304-307-308  Dutch Senate  Ministry of Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport website. http://www.huiselijkgeweld.nl/english/female-genital-mutilation-in-the-netherlands-prevalence-incidence-and-determinants (accessed 27/03/2014)  Government of the Netherlands Website